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Students confused over Clearing, Which? reveals

One in five students felt unsupported during Clearing

Students feel confused and rushed over Clearing choices

Four in 10 students who went through Ucas Clearing last year to find a university place felt they didn’t have enough information and advice to help them, new research from Which? University reveals ahead of A-level results.

37% felt pressured to take the first offer they received and nearly half (46%) admitted they accepted a place without doing as much research as they wanted, our survey of 390 first-year students found.

Around half described Clearing as stressful, 38% said they panicked and nearly half of students said they rushed to make a decision about where to go.

You can find expert advice and resources for Clearing 2013 over on the Which? University website.

Choosing a university course

Which? University’s Jenni Allen said: ‘Choosing the right university and course is hugely important, so even in Clearing, students shouldn’t rush or feel pressured into a decision they may later regret. Students should use free advice sites, like Which? University, which has a wealth of practical, impartial information to help students going through Clearing this year.’

According to Ucas, there were 55,700 acceptances through the Clearing process last year – just under 12% of all university admissions.

Clearing student satisfaction

Although the majority of students who gained their place through Clearing were satisfied with their university (75%) and course (80%), they were significantly more likely to regret their choice of university (17% versus 9%) or course (15% versus 9%) than those who met their original offers.

They were also twice as likely to say they weren’t satisfied with their choice of university (13%) than those who didn’t go through Clearing (6%).

Get set for Clearing

Calling universities plays a crucial part in the Clearing process, but three quarters of students told us they were unsure what to expect. Here are five tips – see more in our guide to calling universities during Clearing:

  • Have your Ucas number and grades to hand – and be ready to explain why you didn’t achieve your predicted grades
  • Have notes about why you want to study that course at that university and re-read and print out your personal statement
  • In the busy Clearing period you could be on hold for a while – be patient and don’t panic if you can’t get through straight away
  • Get names, emails and direct phone numbers in case you have to follow up
  • Sell yourself – why should the tutor give you a place on the course?

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